Woodruff

Who’s in that old tennis court photo

It dawned on me today, just after I posted the tennis court photo, that I may have an idea of who the lady and little girl are. I suspect that this is Cecelia Russum (Woodruff) Van Horn (b. 1878) and her little girl Abigail. Abigail was born in 1904, and here she looks to be about 6 (?), so if that’s them, this must be about 1910.

The Van Horn Children: Abigail Van Horn, Frances Van Horn, and Robert Osborn Van Horn

Is this Abigail with her mom Cecelia (Woodruff) Van Horn?

Cecelia (Woodruff) Van Horn (b. 1878)

Elizabeth, NJ, tennis court – photo was among those belonging to Jennie B. (Woodruff) Coleman

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey, Van Horn, Woodruff | Tags: , | 2 Comments

112-year-old Brodhead family guest book — Post VI

Mr. & Mrs. Frank M. Brodhead Guest Book, 1908

Flora May Woodruff Baker, circa 1910

The next page from the guestbook! On August 18, 1908, Flora M. Baker and son, residing at Cranbury & Conant Street, visited for lunch. This was my grandmother’s older sister Flora May Woodruff (1877-1962) and her infant son Norment Woodruff Baker (1908-1979). Flora was married to Claiborne Barksdale Baker (b. 1870). He passed away in 1916, and she eventually was remarried to a gentleman named John Jacob Ulrich (b. 1884) and moved to California.

Evelyn Angus visited on September 4. I believe this was Evelyn L. Angus (1894-1981), the daughter of Charles Dujah Angus (1852-1938) and Harriet Hartnett (1858-1951). Charles was child #7 of James W. and Wealthy (Jaques) Angus. If this is the correct Evelyn, she was also the one who tended to my grandmother Fannie Woodruff Brodhead, in the weeks leading up to her death from pneumonia in 1965. Evelyn was one of my grandmother’s many 1st cousins.

Image credit: Michelle Causton. Original group photo cropped to show: Circled (left to right): Laura L. Brodhead, Calvin E. Brodhead, Gertrude M. Brodhead, and William McNulty Brodhead (on the occasion of the Golden Wedding Anniversary of Garret and Annie Brodhead (parents of Calvin, Laura, and siblings)).

September 8th saw the arrival of another Woodruff cousin—Lucetta Crane Woodruff (1867-1956), one of the never-married daughters of Ogden Woodruff and Phebe Asenath Bonnell, who had 12 children in all.

The next guests, on September 20, were on my grandfather’s side of the family—first cousin Calvin Easton Brodhead (1878-1945) with wife Gertrude Brodhead (1881-1961) and baby son William McNulty Brodhead (1906-1976). Eventually this family, which grew to have many more children, moved to Ohio.

The Central New Jersey Home News, New Brunswick, NJ, March 22, 1945

The last name on the page is Laura Leisenring Brodhead (1878-1949), Calvin’s twin sister, who resided in Perth Amboy. I don’t believe she ever married, but feel free to correct me on that. Shown here is a cropped image of the September 21, 1922, Brodhead family gathering on the occasion of Calvin and Laura’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I have circled and noted who’s who.

Laura remarked in the guest book: “Tennis is great”. Perhaps she and my grandparents played a game of tennis earlier that day?  Sounds like it! I published a tennis-related photo once before (below). Perhaps, this was the court they played on. The time period looks about right.

Have a good and safe Sunday everyone. And, remember, “this too shall pass,” and we will be the stronger for it.

Elizabeth, NJ, tennis court

Categories: Baker, Brodhead, Heirlooms, Memorabilia, Woodruff | Tags: , | Leave a comment

112-year-old Brodhead family guest book — Post V

Untitled (Cracked watermelon) By Charles Ethan Porter – ca. 1890; Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Another page from the guest book my grandparents started using right after they were married. And here we see my grandmother’s parents came to pay the newlyweds a visit: William Earl Woodruff (1848-1928) and Wealthy Ann Woodruff (1850-1927). The date was August 9, 1908. They resided at their farm on Conant Street and commented “Our first time to dinner to help eat watermelon.”

Wm Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus

The following day, three visitors arrived: Mary Earl Woodruff of 854 Salem Road — “My first call”; Carrie E. Woodruff of 902 Salem Road — “Spent a pleasant evening”; and Mr. and Mrs. George Maxwell Earl of 637 Jefferson Avenue, Elizabeth — “Here for dinner.”

Mary Earl Woodruff (1880-1957) and Carrie Elizabeth Woodruff (1875-1967) were daughters of Ogden Woodruff and Phoebe Bonnell. Neither of the sisters ever married. They were my grandmother’s aunts even though the age difference between them and my grandmother was only 2 and 7 years, respectively.

Bertha Winans Woodruff (1888 – 1973)

Mr. George Maxwell Earl (1882-1978) was born in Elizabeth and baptized at the First Presbyterian Church there. He and my grandfather may have gone to school together or, perhaps, met through the church. George’s wife was Edith Willis (1881-1978; b. Pennsylvania). The couple appeared in a different blog post I did about my grandparents’ wedding and the list of gifts they received.

I do not know who Jessie A. Pierson was, but below her name in pencil is “Sister Bertha”—the same Bertha who visited previously.

Some August guests

Categories: Brodhead, Earl, Elizabeth, Union Co., Memorabilia, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Memories of a Madame de Ryther recipe lead to a fun eBay discovery

John George Brown (American, 1831-1913) Claiming the Shot – After the Hunt in the Adirondacks

A long time ago, I did a post about 19th-century food writer Madame Jules de Ryther‘s recommendations on how to prepare “roast saddle of venison” from deer killed during hunting expeditions in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Perhaps you remember that post.

Well, I was scrolling through some antique postcards on eBay last week, and one in particular caught my eye–it was of two men in a canoe arriving at the side of a lake with at least a couple of dead deer in their vessel. The title was: “Adirondack Mountains. Bringing in the spoils.”

That Madame de Ryther post came to mind, so I paused to take a closer look at the scene. On the front right side was a small note written by the sender, someone named Ripley Watson: “Am up at Lake George, having a fine time. Remember me to your brothers, please. Ripley Watson.”

Adirondack Mountains. Bringing in the spoils

Then I turned the postcard over and was absolutely shocked to discover that the recipient was someone I knew from my family history research and had actually met over a half century ago when visiting my late grandmother in Plainfield, NJ. I was only a few years old at the time and don’t remember the visit, but I do have a photo to prove that I was there!

How amazing! I am still pinching myself. Life is full of strange little surprises. I felt compelled to buy the postcard, and it arrived the day before yesterday from Pennsylvania.

Postcard addressed to Miss Cecelia Russum, postmarked 10 July 1906

Miss Cecelia Bell Russum (1090 East Jersey Street, Elizabeth, NJ) was the postcard recipient, and she would have been 18 at the time. Some of you may know who Cecelia was. For those who do not: she was the only daughter of Cecelia Bensley Angus (1855-1933) and Thomas Bayley Russum (cir. 1850-1938) of Elizabeth, New Jersey, who also had four sons (Thomas; Charles, who died before Cecelia was born; Frank; and William).

Cecelia Bensley Angus was a daughter of James Angus & Wealthy Ann Jaques and one of my great-grandmother Wealthy Angus Woodruff’s younger sisters.

These two Angus sisters were five years apart, but each gave birth to a daughter in 1888: Cecelia Bell Russum was born in June, and Wealthy’s daughter Bertha Woodruff in October. They all appear in the below group photo taken, I believe, in 1892 on the occasion of the funeral gathering for Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus. (Note: I have posted this group photo before. I think I have the Russum kids shown incorrectly apart from William and Cecelia, but plan to fix that label soon.)

William and Wealthy Woodruff with extended family, Elizabeth, NJ, circa 1893 (Photo from my family’s personal archives)

I took a quick look to see who Ripley Watson may have been. Cecelia’s brothers all went to Rutgers College (classes of 1895, 1902, and 1910), and I found a Ripley Watson who was in the class of 1908. A few tidbits I found about him indicated that he was gifted academically and played varsity football (6′ tall, 186 pounds). Published almost a decade after his graduation, The Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of Rutgers College… 1766 to 1916, published by Rutgers, gives the following information about Ripley: Born at Jersey City, NJ, Mch. 15, 1886. Lawyer. L.L.B. (N.K. Law School,1910). A.M. (Rutgers, 1911).

So here was Ripley in July of 1906 sending Cecelia a postcard from the Adirondacks. Perhaps, he had romantic intentions? If he did, nothing came of it. Cecelia remained single, living at home with her parents, into her early forties, when she met and married the much older Reverend George Rutger Brauer (b. 1871) in 1931. Unfortunately the marriage was short lived as George died in 1935 of a cerebral hemorrhage. His Find a Grave memorial has some photos of him as well as a long obituary that appeared in the New York Times. Click here if you are interested in seeing that memorial page (and here if you want to see the page for his first wife Eugenia Lathrop Brauer, who died in 1929).

Back to Cecelia. She died in Los Angeles in 1981 at the age of 93, outliving her cousin Bertha by almost a decade. Remarkably, we have the photo showing the two as young children and another showing them some seven decades later, sitting on the front porch at my grandmother’s house—with me and my sister the young children this time around. The ladies had remained good friends. I don’t know what happened to Cecelia after this or why she moved to California. But, how amazing is it that 114 years after that postcard was sent to Cecelia, it’s ended up here with me!

Circa 1964: Bertha Woodruff (left) and Cecelia Russum Brauer (right) with two little mischief-makers in between

Cecelia Bell Russum and her cousin Bertha Winans Woodruff back in their mischief-making days

Categories: Adirondacks, Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey, New York, Russum, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

112-year-old Brodhead family guest book — Post II

Today, I’m posting three more pages from my grandparents’ guest book, which went into service in June 1908. I have not had time to research the names I don’t know but figured I would go ahead and post the pages anyway since some of these unknowns may be known to you!

I love the entry made by my great-grandfather Andrew Douglas Brodhead, who clearly had a great sense of humor, and the “namesake” remark in the entry made by Mrs. F. C. Bishop, which confirms my grandmother was indeed named after her. Other visitors included my grandmother’s oldest and youngest sisters—Jennie and Bertha. I think Bertha in particular must have been a lot of fun. She was a very clever and artistic young woman and probably in art school in NYC at that time.

1910: Miss M. E. Woodruff’s “Button,” 902 Salem Rd., Elizabeth, NJ – I remembered this photo and now I am wondering: Is this the Mary E. Woodruff who visited on July 9? The address is Jennie Woodruff Coleman’s — did Mary move out of 854 and in with Jennie and her husband at 902? 

Another visitor was Mary E. Woodruff (Aunt Mary) and I believe this was probably Mary Elizabeth Woodruff (1835-1924), a younger sister of my grandmother’s grandfather Francis Woodruff and the younger sister of Ogden Woodruff (father of guest Fannie Woodruff Townley who appears as a guest here and in the previous post’s pages as well).

This Mary E. Woodruff’s address was 854 Salem Avenue, which is in present-day Hillside, NJ. If you Google this address, you will find a very grand 6,000+ square-foot home built in 1874. Incidentally, it is just two doors down from another home I have mentioned in this blog—the old Woodruff homestead at 866 Salem Avenue! Anyway, if Mary lived at 854, her comment in the guest book “A lovely little home” may have had her mentally emphasizing the word “little” as she wrote that. 😉

The most distant visitor was M. Margaret Fritz of Wilkes-Barre, PA.  I know some Brodheads lived in Wilkes-Barre back in those days, and, perhaps, she was somehow related to them. In any case, I will leave you to enjoy these few pages and if you have any info to add, please do leave a comment!

Jennie Belle Woodruff Coleman (1873 – 1955)

Bertha Winans Woodruff (1888 – 1973)

A. D. Brodhead (1853-1917)

  • Jennie Belle Coleman – 902 Salem Road, Elizabeth, NJ – “Our fourth anniversary”
  • William J. James and Harriet Eadie James – 920 1/2 Grove Street, Elizabeth, NJ
  • Elizabeth A. Terrill – 1074 Lafayette St, Elizabeth, NJ – “We did not ride in a coach”
  • Alice F. Rath – 141 Jefferson Ave, Elizabeth, NJ – “ditto”
  • Homer L. Wandling – 518 Walnut St., Elizabeth, NJ – “ditto”
  • William T. Rath – 141 Jefferson Ave., Elizabeth, NJ – “Good Luck”
  • Gertrude L. Younglove – 407 Jefferson Ave. – Elizabeth – SS Teacher”
  • Bertha W. WoodruffConant St, Elizabeth, NJ – “A diner for dinner”
  • Vera A. Stinson – 157 5th Ave., Roselle, NJ – “A diner for supper”
  • Adelaide H. Russ – 458 N. Broad St., Elizabeth
  • M. Margaret Fritz – 820 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA – “On again, off again”
  • Alice F. Rath – Elizabeth, NJ – “Here for lunch”
  • Elizabeth A. Terrill – Elizabeth, NJ – ditto
  • Fannie W. Townley – Elizabeth, NJ – “Here for tea”
  • William E. Townley – ditto – “Baby with us”
  • A.D. Brodhead – a wanderer – “Just for a shave”
  • Mrs. F.C. Bishop – 920 Salem Ave, Elizabeth, NJ – “Namesake”
  • Mary E. Woodruff (Aunt Mary) – 854 Salem Ave, Eliz, NJ – “A lovely little home”
  • Anna Bowles Hesse – 154 Elm St., Eliz., NJ – “Everything fine”
  • Louise Hesse – ditto – “Dinner a big success”

Categories: Brodhead, Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey, Townley, Woodruff | Tags: , | 7 Comments

112-year-old Brodhead family guest book — Post I

Honeymoon photo, Frank M. Brodhead and Fannie Bishop Woodruff, married June 6, 1908

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be publishing the pages of a guest book that was given to my grandparents when they moved into their new home at 736 Jersey Avenue in Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey, in June 1908.  Their minister Rev. William Force Whitaker of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth was the first guest who signed in, and his handwriting matches the handwriting you see here, so the book evidently was a gift from him. About 18 months’ worth of guests is recorded. Many of you will recognize the names of those who stopped by. I’m not publishing all the pages at once since I will have comments to make about certain names and want to research some others.

I am going to assume that the house number 736 is correct, however, a previous post I did on my grandparents’ wedding contained a newspaper announcement that gave the house number as 732.  It could be that parents (Andrew D. and Margaret Brodhead) lived at 732, since I have seen that as their address, and my grandparents at 736.  A visit to Google street view indicates that both those homes have been replaced (quite recently it appears) by a townhouse-looking structure, so, alas, the number discrepancy is neither here nor there—there shall never be real estate listings showing the inside of those two dwellings.

The pages below show a child’s scribbles, revealing that my Dad or his brother must have gotten his hands on the guest book at some point. Or perhaps the scribbles were made by the children of some visitors…

The first page shows the following guests — after the Reverend (who resided at 142 Stiles Street, Elizabeth, NJ):

The Van Horn Children: Abigail Van Horn, Frances Van Horn, and Robert Osborn Van Horn

In any case, I will welcome your comments as you see names you recognize. Please feel free to share any information you may know about the people behind them for the benefit of other family members who follow this blog. Thank you!


Categories: Baker, Barksdale, Brodhead, Coleman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Family Homes, Heirlooms, New Jersey, Presbyterian, Townley, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

1869 – James W. Angus Estate Map – Elizabeth, New Jersey

The Knowles house at 924 Elizabeth Ave

Below is a map showing the estate of my second-great-grandfather James W. Angus, who died in December 1862 at the age of 52, leaving behind his wife Wealthy and 10 children, aged 11 months to 22 years. The map was drafted in 1869 as Wealthy sold off bits and pieces of the land to help make ends meet.

If you enlarge the map, you will see that daughter Mary Martha Angus and her husband Austin F. Knowles had two lots/homes on Elizabeth Avenue (924 is pictured on the left); daughter Lavinia Angus Marthaler had four; daughter Wealthy Angus Woodruff had one; and son Walter P. Angus had one.

I’m not sure who the Woodruff was at 928. Could have been Wealthy Angus Woodruff, I suppose. The other names I don’t recognize.

Angus family home

Written in red ink, the names must have been added later since Lavinia, the youngest daughter, did not marry until 1879, and her married name is included here.

The Angus family home from 1848-1871 was at 927 Elizabeth Avenue, across the street from the Knowles’ property.

Estate of James W. Angus, 1869

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., Family Homes, Knowles, Last Wills and Testaments, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Old Woodruff home on Salem Ave in Hillside, NJ — built in 1743

The Woodruff House at 866 Salem Avenue – present day

Quite a while ago, I did a post about the Woodruff home at 866 Salem Avenue in Hillside NJ: “Old Woodruff Family Homestead: Witnesss to American History.”

Today, I happened to notice some photos left behind on a 2013 Zillow listing, showing a few interior and exterior views. Here’s the link in case you’d like to take a peek. 

Categories: Hillside Union, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

November 17, 1917: Wedding of Alvira Anness, niece of Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead

Last week, while browsing articles on Fulton History, I came across this one in The Yonkers Statesman (November 19, 1917) describing the wedding of Alvira W. Anness, daughter of Mary Marsh Martin Anness and the (then) late Winfield S. Anness, in the Anness family home at 223 Warburton Avenue in Yonkers, NY. The house still stands! Click here.

Winfield S. Anness (b. 1861, Stamford, CT) was a widower when he married Mary M. Martin. He had a son with his first wife Mamie E. Valentine (b. 1864): Harold W. Anness (b. 1885). Winfield died in November 1899. I don’t know anything about Harold. If he was still alive in 1917, he was not at this wedding.

My Dad always referred to Great Aunt Mary as “Aunt Mame”, and apparently she was quite a pistol. Born in 1863, she was a younger sister of my great-grandmother, Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead (b. 1859).  This wedding was in November; Margaret had lost her husband Andrew Douglas Brodhead six months before, in May. Margaret, Alvira’s aunt, is named in the article as one of the attendees.

Woodruff M. Brodhead, b. 1912, with his mother Fannie Woodruff Brodhead

Giving the bride away was my Dad’s Great Uncle Charlie (Charles Conrad Martin); my Dad’s older brother Woodruff, then age 5 1/2, wore a little sailor suit and carried white baskets filled with yellow asters.

Woodruff’s parents (my grandparents) were also present at the wedding, of course. To the left is a photo of Woodruff (“Woody”) and his mother Fannie Woodruff Brodhead. At that stage, he was their only child. He’s wearing a little sailor suit here, so perhaps this photo was also taken during that period. I’m a bad judge of ages, but I’d say he looks about 5 here?

According to the family tree information of Ancestry user “KrehT,” the newlyweds, Alvira and Walter Douglas Barry, eventually had two children: Alvira Martin Barry (b. 1920) and Walter Douglas Barry (b. 1923). Interestingly, this user shows Alvira’s middle name as “Woodruff,” but did not provide any clues as to where that middle name came from. I’d love to know since my grandmother was a Woodruff, one of the original Elizabeth, NJ, families.

Categories: Anness, Brodhead, Martin, New York, Weddings, Woodruff | 1 Comment

Continuation of January 9 post: More Woodruff farm photos from mid-1920s

I forgot I had these two other photos when I did my January 9th post on the Woodruff farm.

My great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff (5 August 1850 – 27 May 1927) with her grandsons, Charles Brodhead (my Dad) and Richard Angus Brown, outside the barn on the Woodruff farm off Conant Street in Hillside, New Jersey

I have no idea who these ladies and the little girl are, but I’m assuming they worked on the Woodruff farm as this photo was together with the other two.

I offer the below as a comparison; you can see the boys all grown up and ready to go to war. They appear in reverse order in the second photo.

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., Hillside Union, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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